NRC Weighs In on States’ Science Assessments
Experts Recommend Broad ‘Systems’ to Meet NCLB Law
States that are designing science tests to satisfy the No Child Left Behind Act should set up broad “systems” of assessment, in which questions are aligned with standards and curriculum and new teachers are thoroughly trained in using the exams to improve student learning.
Those are some of the central recommendations of a report by the National Research Council that offers guidance to state officials on how to craft the science tests that the sweeping federal law will require in the 2007-08 school year.
Those tests are likely to have what the report calls a “powerful influence” over how the subject is taught in the coming years. Establishing entire systems of assessment—as opposed simply to drawing up tests to comply with the law—is crucial for states, in order to promote a broad, conceptual understanding of science and its processes, according to the...
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